CHINA'S top brass yesterday vowed to up the ante in the 'struggle' for reunification with Taiwan, just a few hours after three medium-range missiles hit pre-determined targets near the island. Three M-9 ground-to-ground missiles came down at target areas, two splashing down about 80 kilometres off the southern Taiwan port of Kaohsiung, and the other near the northern port of Keelung, a Defence Ministry statement said. They were thought to be carrying dummy warheads with monitoring instruments to track their course, the ministry said. Officials said they were fired at one-hour intervals from a railway between Yingtan and Xiamen in Fujian province. Vice Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant-General Tang Fei said Taiwan navy vessels and radar stations had detected the missiles and that their flares were visible. General Tang said a mainland observation trawler was spotted near the southern test zone. Senior generals in Beijing in addition to President Jiang Zemin, the chairman of the Central Military Commission, made it clear the People's Liberation Army would persevere with the sabre-rattling. 'Our struggle will not stop for a single day so long as Taiwan authorities do not cease activities to split the motherland for a single day,' Mr Jiang told the National People's Congress. Chinese sources in Fujian said the more than 100,000 troops there were finalising a multi-divisional manoeuvre that could begin either during the eight-day missile drill or afterwards. After discussing strategy with his generals, Taiwan Defence Minister Chiang Chung-lin reiterated they would fight back if the missiles landed in their territorial waters. He also claimed China would follow up the tests with air and sea exercises near its southeast coast facing Taiwan. After a Cabinet session, premier Lien Chan issued 'the most severe protest' against the tests, which he termed a 'serious intimidation and blatant provocation to all our people'. Mr Lien added the Defence Ministry and other government agencies were 'fully prepared' to meet all contingencies. Defence sources said President Lee Teng-hui met with his top military leaders yesterday to discuss the readiness of his troops. Taiwan's 400,000-strong military had been on high alert since China announced the tests. Fishermen said they would avoid the target zones, and the Kaohsiung Fishermen's Association said the port expected to lose up to NT$28 million (HK$7.8 million) in lost catches during the tests. Taiwan warned some airlines and ships to change their routes and also closed a flight path used for 30 daily flights between Taipei and Japan, Australia and the United States. Meanwhile, many Taiwan banks ran out of US dollars amid a buying spree of the greenback even though the stock index rebounded 1.1 per cent due to government-supported buying.